Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Don't tell me not to be afraid.  My son has died and I am not afraid of much, but this week I am afraid of some things.  This week I am afraid of hospitals.  I am fine as a hospital visitor, as a chaplain, as an observer.  I am not squeamish, I have no sense of smell, and I am just generally not bothered when my own self is not the focus of medical care.  But when I am the focus ~ let's just say that I have childhood memories that have worn grooves into my soul, and I get to be afraid.

Don't tell me that they'll manage the pain.  I have never had adequate pain management, so I feel completely undermined when I think you are lying.  You probably aren't lying, at least not intentionally, but I am pretty sure that the reality is not going to be pain-free, or what hospital folks call "uncomfortable."  I'm pretty sure that it's going to be hell.  So let me have the truth of that.

Don't tell me that it's not all that big a deal.  It is, actually, in its own way.  Or not.  I can't tell.  It's more like re-living the events of three years ago than it is its own thing, and that's a very big deal.  

DON'T stand in a store and quote Bible verses in my face.  Just DON'T. DO. THAT.


  1. Left you a phone message. I can list all the things I was afraid of.

    Hugs. You're in my prayers

  2. Vent Robin.
    No-one is going to tell you these stupid cliches but I do hope prayers for you are OK.

  3. <><> <><> <><> (that's my computer speak for shaking my head...both in that I'm not surprised...and that is better than outright cussing)

  4. totally. It will hurt, but hopefully they will get the physical pain managed. However, the emotional pain will be something that pain, we, the women who love you, the women who have nursed babies, the women who have suffered, we will hold you in our love and prayers...may they surround you and hold you deeply.

  5. It is a big deal! A HUGE BFD.

    No, I've not had a breast removed so I don't know what that feels like. I have watched a loved one endure horrendous surgeries. It hurt... both her and me. I have nursed four babies, and I know what that is like. It's a slice of heaven.
    I'm sorry you're afraid. I'm so so sorry this is happening to you.
    I am thinking of you and sending you a very warm hug.

  6. Hugs, prayer, love -- all great. Thank you, lovely ladies.

    I've been trying to figure out what is supposed to be accomplished by telling a complete stranger that everything will be fine and then quoting several Bible verses as supporting arguments.

    Is there in fact someone who would respond by saying, "Oh, wow, I was so sad and depressed when I came in here, but you have saved my life! Of course -- all those words completely devoid of context -- just what I needed to hear! Without knowing a thing about me, you have just resolved all of my anxieties by telling me that the Bible says not to be afraid -- and we know how easy that is! How could I possibly have forgotten those words of wisdom? Thank you so much for walking through the doors! You should go to seminary!"

    I do believe that that's the kind of experience that propelled almost every member of my family of origin out of the doors of the church, never to return.

  7. You are my heroine! (it sounded better as 'you are my hero' but didn't feel right)

  8. That's right - all of it - DON'T! And good for you, for saying it.

  9. Sort like Nike's slogan...just do it! Like if we could we already would of done it (whatever it is).

  10. Sounds like a wildly inappropriate encounter. I hope this person wasn't charged with being some kind of professional (counselor, chaplain, human being...) People say odd things that are supposed to be suppoortive(!?).

    That you.

  11. Another example of the wisdom of silence and the comfort of just being there.


  12. Holding you close in thoughts as you navigate this next chapter. And maybe they will manage your pain. But maybe they won't. And Bible quotes? Nah! Even for a minister. Hugs, open ears, and loving companionship is what is needed now. You have them from me.

  13. Sending you virtual hugs, Robin. And keeping you in my prayers and meditation.

    People. Really. Sometimes I am amazed at the banality of our species.

  14. as one who has said many a wrong thing at the wrong time, I am sorry for my transgressions past future and present